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Forum topic by natenaaron posted 07-26-2014 08:00 PM 1451 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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442 posts in 2064 days

07-26-2014 08:00 PM

On January 2nd I almost cut two fingers off. They have healed, the scars are irritating but more and more feeling is coming back as time passes. I blamed the POS saw but equal blame should have gone to me. A friend loaned me his rigid contractor saw so I could try it out before making a decision. It is a nice little saw, smooth, and handled the squaring rip cut I did on some 8/4 walnut.

Problem was I was so tense during that cut that I realized it was not safe for me to be using the saw. All I could think about was the finger situation. Argh! this sucks.

12 replies so far

View English's profile


660 posts in 1745 days

#1 posted 07-26-2014 08:05 PM

I had a close call. Didn’t cut anything but came close. I was afraid of my saw after that. I purchased a Saw Stop. I use it with confidence not afraid any more, but I still work a safely as I can.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Woodmaster1's profile


1102 posts in 2854 days

#2 posted 07-26-2014 08:12 PM

If you use the safety guard your fingers and hands should safe. I only remove the guard when cutting a dado. If it is too narrow of cut I use the bandsaw to rip. So get back and make some things and your fear will go away.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1948 days

#3 posted 07-26-2014 08:19 PM

I have the same opinion about routers. I haven’t hurt myself with one but I have had a few closer than I like calls to make me really hate the things. I still use them when I have to but I have turned to other tools like hand planes to do a lot of things I would have taken a router out of the box for before.

View MrRon's profile (online now)


5364 posts in 3511 days

#4 posted 07-26-2014 08:24 PM

The saying “once bitten; twice shy” comes to mind. Until you get over the shy thing, it is best to stay away from the saw. The psychological effect may take some time to get over. I’ve had close calls with power tools before, but instead of fearing them, I learned to respect them for what they can do. My only advise is to know your tool inside and out and keep focused at all times. Don’t get distracted when working; don’t use a dangerous tool when you are tired or in a bad frame of mind. Most accidents are caused by being distracted. That’s where being focused comes in. There has to be only one thing in your mind when working around a dangerous machine and that is the machine itself and what it is doing. Please forgive an old adage from an old man: “When you fall off a horse, you must get back on right a way”.

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 1842 days

#5 posted 07-26-2014 09:45 PM

Took a chunk out of my left index finger last year due to an “unforeseen” accident with my table saw.
Totally empathise with your situation as my finger has healed, as good as it’s gonna get,
but there is still a tiny mental scar.
Time is part of the healing process, and I think MrRon has covered all the bases re. advice
about how you should proceed.
If you follow his advice, your confidence will grow enough for you start simple projects again
and you will soon be back on the proverbial horse.
All the best, it does get better.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5167 posts in 4228 days

#6 posted 07-26-2014 10:24 PM

My first experience with a table saw resulted in a kick-back to the chest. WAHHHHHH! Table saws suck!!! Right? Wrong!
No fence, splitter, guard, and a stupid operator (me).
Took me several years to get over the fear.
Now my TS is the mainstay in the shop. It has been a learning experience. I’m still cautious.
Still have all my ribs and fingers.


View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2202 days

#7 posted 07-27-2014 12:09 AM

I’m terrified of my jointer, but I have learned to just use it anyway. I actually find the TS less intimidating. At least it slices things off cleanly. The jointer desires to pull your entire body in and really doesn’t leave much room for injuries less severe than a peeled apart palm…ugh. I would suggest Sawstop

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View spcbike's profile


40 posts in 2241 days

#8 posted 07-28-2014 01:37 PM

The way I look at these sorts of things is to ask myself “where does it stop”? I have cut myself badly with many different edge tools over my life but could not imagine a happy life for me if I didn’t use them again. A car accident, being hit by a car as a pedestrian or while biking, etc… are all example of this, and even more so IMO. With our tools at least we are mostly in charge of the situation.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1898 days

#9 posted 07-28-2014 01:49 PM

After narrowly keeping my fingers, only slicing open a 1/2 section on my thumb I was extremely timid, in fact I still don’t use my TS as much as I used to.

What I did was I just made sure that i was extra-safe. That means that my Fingers don’t even get close to the blade any more. Basically if I ever felt unsafe I just clamped and if necessary screwed my work pieces straight into my TS sled. Sure I burnt through my sled a lot quicker, but I got over my fear.

I still deal with the TS with a healthy dose of respect but I don’t screw every piece into the sled anymore. So just start doing it and on the first few times, steer your hands way clear of the blade, have your clamps and screws hold the workpiece down. After a while you will feel safe(er). Mind you though – after 8 months my feelings towards my TS are still more timid than they were before, but that is a good thing, because I was being damn near reckless with the thing before.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View Rayne's profile


1140 posts in 1807 days

#10 posted 07-28-2014 04:52 PM

I had a close call with a kickback that flew back and hit the wall behind me. I’m glad I stood away from the direct view of the blade. I also had a minor accident when I was learning how to use my router. Stupid me thought I could slow down the router bit when shut off so I could change it faster. It took a very tiny piece of my pinky flesh with it. Nothing bled and everything healed but this taught me to respect the tool and don’t get distracted. Just remember where your hands are at all times.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1691 days

#11 posted 07-28-2014 05:04 PM

I always wondered why table saws are better suited for left hand people like me. It is just so easy for me to use it because your work is always on the left side of the fence.

I am convinced the gentleman who invented it was left handed!

-- Brad, Texas,

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3338 days

#12 posted 07-28-2014 07:22 PM

Youch; sorry to hear about your accident. I hope the fingers and your self-confidence continue to heal.

If I had an accident, I wouldn’t have thought twice before getting a SawStop. A sliding table saw might be a satisfactory solution, too, but I haven’t looked into them very in-depth. Like others said, the only way to get over any fear is to confront it.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

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